On March 1, On Earth Peace kicked-off “3,000 Miles for Peace,” a national campaign of riders and walkers that is raising funds and awareness for the organization’s violence-prevention efforts. The campaign is in honor of Paul Ziegler, a 19-year old McPherson (Kan.) College student who had a dream of biking across the country, about 3,000 miles, for peace. Tragically, he died in a bicycle accident in September 2012, and never got the chance to make his journey.
So far, there are over three dozen events planned in 15 states and 3 countries as part of the campaign, including rides and walks sponsored by churches, camps, colleges, and youth groups. There are individual walks and rides of several hundred miles each.
One community is planning a canoe trip which will combine fun, fundraising, inspiration, education, and music. Another group is planning to walk the Stations of the Cross in conflict areas of their city neighborhood. The campaign includes events as diverse as its participants, and welcomes new event organizers, participants, and fundraisers to join in.
The main website for the campaign, www.3000milesforpeace.org , gives more information about how to get involved by donating, starting an event, or becoming a fundraiser.
Bob Gross, On Earth Peace director of Development, will walk 650 miles on behalf of the campaign. He plans to start March 21 from North Manchester, Ind., and end May 3 in Elizabethtown, Pa. Find his blog and links to more information about his walk on the main page of www.3000milesforpeace.org .
After the conclusion of Gross’ walk there will be a culminating event on May 5 at Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren to recognize Paul Ziegler’s birthday, share stories of walks and rides, and share music and worship together. All who live in the area are invited to attend. Those who live in a nearby town may consider walking or bicycling to Elizabethtown for the culminating event of the campaign.
“3,000 Miles for Peace” will run through the summer, and end on Sept. 21-22–the weekend of Peace Day. Some organizers already have expressed enthusiasm about combining a walk or ride event with Peace Day. For more about Peace Day go to http://prayingforceasefire.tumblr.com .
On Earth Peace would like to thank the many campaign volunteers who are stepping up for violence prevention and peacemaking. If you have interest in joining the campaign, check out www.3000milesforpeace.org or call the campaign office at 260-982-7751.
— Lizz Schallert is development assistant at On Earth Peace.